In The News

AEE Nevada T-Mobile Tour

Our members and guests of the Nevada Chapter of the AEE, took a sunny Friday afternoon to go inside the new $375 million dollar T-Mobile arena in Las Vegas. An overview of the buildings energy practices and management techniques were provided by  the on-site team.  This facility has been open about one year and has already hosted many events that larger, more famous arenas would love to host, including many televised, world recognized events. The arena was built to hold sporting events, music concerts and awards shows.  The  facility and its team are ready and able to handle the operations and energy demands that require experienced, top notch professionals.  The team that hosted our group included the Facility Manager, Director and a representative of the electrical contractor.  (Thanks for the super tour…!)

Our first stop was the chiller room where ice making operations and chilled water inflow from the Aria central plant. New facilities often retain the “new car smell” and even the back of the house at this facility looked sharp and we saw water distribution equipment and the primary heat exchanger that appeared brand new.   The control center for HVAC was modest and located within this mechanical area.

Our second stop was overlooking the “Bowl” of the arena on the uppermost level where a posh night club is located.   This stop took us into the details of lighting, controls, best practices and general operations for energy practices.   Some tidbits from this part of the tour included:

  • Virtually all mechanical equipment was variable frequency drive (VFD) based.
  • Virtually all lighting is light emitting diode (LED) and as a result, even the central scoreboard (69,000 lbs. and enormous…) has very low heat generation.  The scoreboard has a vertical garage where it retracts upwards when not in use.
  • Entertainers have a huge influence on the ambient air temperature maintained in the facility and their contract terms often stipulate comfortable temperature boundaries for the band / entertainers.
  • The twelve 50,000 CFM fans used to exhaust air near the roof are oftentimes used to remove theatrical haze (smoke) and to rapidly change arena temperatures.
  • Carbon dioxide sensors are used to maintain air quality and they have a goal of keeping levels well below 1100ppm.

The two last stops on our tour were of the arena floor that was currently vacant and a “Bunker Suite” used by the well-heeled sponsors that can afford a VIP experience with proximity to the floor, leather arena seats, well-appointed rooms used for restaurant and bar services and even exclusive viewing of athletes entering the arena.   The design and finishes of these suites were finer than most luxury homes.

When asked what was on the wish list of our hosts, they indicated more lighting controls would help, but with such a new facility, they were pleased with the responsive and modern design of the facility.  There are two other arenas – Mandalay and MGM Grand in the portfolio of the company, but this was clearly the flagship site.

 A few fun facts about the site included:

  • Hockey events have a dental lab on site during game operations. 
  • The interior clear span for this 17,000 seat (they squeezed in 19,000 one time already) arena is 112 feet.
  • The National Hockey League requires a 23-25 degree ice temperature and a specified humidity level.
  • Five full time facility engineer positions are planned for this site.   They currently operate with three.
  • When Pro Bull Riding arrives, they just lay down a layer of dirt over the ice to accommodate the animal and human traffic.

We hope to return to this site sometime in the future and see it again with our energy friends and even as customers seeking top quality sports and entertainment.